New genres evolve from experimentation, through fusion of different styles, or by stripping down the old sounds and distilling the very essence of the sound as the foundation for something new. High-life is inspired by Ghanaian style music and American jazz, using string and wind instruments. Fela’s Afrobeat was also inspired by jazz, funk and African social activism. Lately, contemporary artists are finding their sounds within the stripped down versions of old genres, as we’ve seen in the Afro-soul jazz samples on Seyi Shay’s “Yolo Yolo” and on Asa’s Afro soul genre. Afrosoul is about to become a thing again, and Ghana’s Maayaa is set to take make a name for herself with the genre.
Her debut single, “Limbo” is an ode to addiction using African folk type narrative. She speaks on her travails with dysfunctional relationships. She delicately romanticizes the intense pains of trying to leave a relationship, but love holds her back, and she’s stuck in a state of limbo. “Limbo” listens like a confessional style song thanks to the blues guitar strums with some undertones of bass guitar reminiscent of John Mayer.
Though Afro-soul is only moderately appreciated in Africa, Asa, Harry Kimani, and a few others have managed successful careers in the genre. The increasing number of talents will make the genre grow a larger fan base till it becomes completely acclaimed in Africa. Maayaa has already started building a following for herself after performances at the Afraba Concert and VI Music concert last year at Alliance France. Guests were left anticipating a befitting debut release and Maayaa has finally delivered that on “Limbo”.
It is far too soon to compare Maayaa to Asa or Sade Adu, but with singles like “Limbo”, she is well on her way to artistic maturity.
Featured Image Credits: Instagram/_delmiyaa